Not to sure how or where to start…. I finished my MFA in August and a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Literally and figuratively. All I wanted was a break from school and I felt the day … Continue reading
The best photo I took of 2015 had to be the photo of daughter Savannah and all her many activities. I call Savannah ““Multipotentialite.” She has this wonderful imagination about life. She often finds the adventure in everything and has … Continue reading
The rain cleared up just in time to get my students some great experience shooting on location. The sky turned into some beautiful colors from blue to pink to purple. I brough my camera out and took some shots for … Continue reading
The past several years as a photographer, I have always focused on pure documentary. I love the idea of telling peoples lives and stories. Even as a trained Combat Cameraman, I tend to always reveal the truths of what goes … Continue reading
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Savannahs Fourth Grade Photo are here! I couldn’t wait! I struggled with this year’s concept and had to brainstorm a lot for this one!!! But I am so excited with the results! We often struggle these days with raising our … Continue reading
Over the weekend, (March 20-22) I participated in the DC Shoot Off, hosted by Visual Media Workshop. Whats the Shoot Off?? Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops is a not for profit program for our military and civil service photographers. The … Continue reading
I often get asked, what I do for the U.S. Navy Reserves… I just reply with ” I take pictures.” However, after going through this training for the second time, I realize that there is more to my job. I … Continue reading
Photo Booth Projects from 2014
Since I started teaching as lecturer, one of my favorite assignments is the PhotoBooth Project. This project was introduced to me when I was looking into Grad Schools. A few years ago while applying to Grad school I met a wonderful young lady who was attending LSU. Her name is Mercedes Jelinek!! See her website here: mercedesjelinekphotography
She is an amazing photographer and I was so fortunate to meet her. I have been following her for quite sometime and I was fascinated by her Photo Booth Project! Check out what she had to say about the project on my blog: MERCEDES JELINEK Photo Booth Project.
The Photo Project allows my students to really engage with the community, push their comfort zones and work on there photography skills.
Here are the rules:
You pick a high volume location of people, Beach, neighborhood, campus, outdoor mall, parks, skate park, etc. You must set up a Photo Booth like area. Backdrops, camera on tripod with sign. You must record your process and the different people. You can do with with your cellular phone or videocamera and upload to the blog. Each photo that is taken must be given to the person. (ie email or give them the link to your blog) I suggest getting a quote or some saying from the person that you photograph. You must have at least 20- 30 images.
Last semester, all the students did an exceptional job and exceeded all my expectations!!! I was so proud of my students. Check out their work! And if you have time, give them feed back!!! Thanks!
Recently, this article was sent to me by a good friend. It was an article featured in the LA Times. I wanted to share it those who like reading about other photographers.
Here is the link:
The author of ‘Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and the Bohemians of Los Angeles’ discusses the artist, his muse and his early years in L.A.
Beth Gates Warren, a former director of Sotheby’s photographs department, exhumes details about Edward Weston’s lost years in Los Angeles from 1906 to 1923 and his relationship with a highly influential model, muse, photographer and lover in her new book, “Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and the Bohemians of Los Angeles” (J. Paul Getty Museum).
Why was so little known about Edward Weston’s early years in Los Angeles?
He basically wanted it that way. He destroyed virtually all of his autobiographical writing prior to 1923 when he departed L.A. for Mexico. And most historians took their cue from him and began writing about his career as though he really began working in Mexico. And that was not the case at all. He actually spent a decade here in Los Angeles building his early career.
What piqued your interest in this?
I had read his daybook, which is what unpublished journals were called, and I learned that they had been heavily edited and that he’d destroyed a portion of them. And I became curious about why he had done that. And I also learned that a woman named Margrethe Mather had been his model in many of his early photographs, and yet he barely mentioned her in his journal. And I just found that strange. There was only one important mention of her in his journal and that was that she was the most important person in his life. And yet he made no effort to explain what he meant by that. And so that statement in combination with the fact that she appeared in so many of his photographs and the fact that he had destroyed so much of his own writing made me curious. I wanted to know why.
Who was Margrethe Mather?
She came to Los Angeles around the same time he did. She later told a friend of hers that she’d been a child prostitute and that she had to leave Salt Lake City because there were people who’d found out about her activities. In later years, she was a prostitute, but I doubt that’s why she left Salt Lake City. A friend of hers tried to find out more about her early life and couldn’t, but that was because Margrethe Mather wasn’t her real name, and I was able to track down several of her distant relatives and they told me her name was actually Emma Caroline Youngren.
When she came to Los Angeles, she became a member of the Los Angeles Camera Club and an amateur photographer. And she had an inherent talent for design and composition, so she very quickly became known because she showed some of her photographs in photographic salons, which were the only way photographers could get their work seen because photography wasn’t exhibited in museums in those days.
And so she met Edward Weston in 1913 through a friend and they very quickly became involved romantically, although Weston was already married and had two children. And she worked with him for an entire decade until he left for Mexico in 1923.
I had the sense from your book that you were at times more impressed with Mather because she was more focused on advancing her artistry and he his career.
Yes, that’s true. She was not a self-promoter. She did not need the kind of attention that Weston seemed to need, and of course he was trying to support a family and needed to build his reputation. She was on her own, but she was also less interested in fame and more interested in the art itself. And I think she was responsible for changing Weston’s attitude, because when she walked into his studio in what is now Glendale — it was an area called Tropico then — he was a very conventional photographer. And once he became more involved with Mather, he began to become an artist.
Did she influence his work more specifically?
I think her eye was in some ways more critical than his. She introduced him to the concept of arranging sitters in less conventional poses, and she encouraged him to utilize composition and line and texture to create a mood — in short, to think like an artist rather than a commercial photographer. And she was an excellent printer herself. And she influenced the way he looked at the world. She brought people from the literary world onto Weston’s horizons, and she was also a friend of Charlie Chaplin’s. She introduced him to dancers and actors.
Can you talk a little more about their circle of artists and bohemians?
There was a fairly large group of creative people who lived in Los Angeles in the teens and ’20s for a variety of reasons, and one of the key reasons was the movie industry, which attracted writers and designers and photographers. They came to California because they could actually make a living here. So the people who came here were after fame and fortune, and some of them succeeded, like Charlie Chaplin; others were not so lucky, like Florence Deshon, who was a reasonably well-known stage actress and model in New York. Samuel Goldwyn brought her out to become one of the premier actresses at Goldwyn Studio, but she did not persevere and she couldn’t make a living. She was involved with Charlie Chaplin for a while. But as soon as that relationship ended, publicity about her career also ended. And she wound up going back to New York City and committing suicide.
But some of the people who traveled to Los Angeles weren’t involved in the entertainment business. They were coming out here for political reasons. Emma Goldman came out to California on a regular basis. So did Max Eastman, who was the editor of two socialist publications.
Rudolph Valentino lived for a short time right across the street from Margrethe Mather. Boris Karloff lived up the block. There was an amazing array of talent descending on Los Angeles because of all the opportunities here. In a way, the area around Bunker Hill and Silver Lake and Echo Park was the Montparnasse of Los Angeles.
For a year Weston and Mather were equal partners in a photography studio. Why did their relationship end?
Their relationship came to an end because [actress] Tina Modotti walked into his life. Tina was then married — quote unquote, she wasn’t really — to Roubaix [“Robo”] de l’Abrie Richey. In spite of that, Weston never let a marriage license come between him and a romance. So he started a relationship with her. Robo went to Mexico and died there from smallpox. So now all of a sudden Tina wasn’t married or attached to anyone, and Weston thought Mexico was so appealing. Glendale he thought was dull and boring, and Mexico offered lots of artistic opportunity. So he thought that would be a good way to escape from Glendale and family responsibilities, and he and Tina went to Mexico in 1923.
PhotoBooth Project A few years ago while applying through grade school I met a wonderful young lady who was attending LSU. Her name is Mercedes Jelinek!! See her website here: mercedesjelinekphotography She is an amazing photographer and I was so fortunate … Continue reading
Broad Lighting: the main/key/dominant light illuminates fully the side of the face turned toward the camera
Short Lighting: the main lighting illuminates fully the side of the ace turned away from the camera
Side Lighting: aka the hatchet lighting: only half of the face is fully illuminated, the other half is in the shawdow.
Rembrandt Lighting: the main light is at 45-degree angle to the subject, 2 to 4 feet above the subjects face ( on the shadow side of the face, there is a triangle of light, created by the nose shadow meeting the cheek shadow)
Butterfly Lighting: aka paramount lighting, front lighting. The main light is placed directly in front of the subjects face and cast a symmetrical nose shadow directly underneath and in line with the nose. The shadow from the jaw falls directly downward, covering the neck.
Thanks for Checking this out. These are just a few sheets of Basic Photography Skills and some suggestions on shooting assignments. I suggest that everyone try to shoot any of these assignments, as well as learn the terms of your camera.
Click on the link below and it will take you to a PDF file slide show. Any questions, please feel free to email me anytime. If I don’t know the answer, I will be sure to find out!
CLICK HERE: Basic Photography Lecture
Recently, one of my mentors from the United States Navy posted this on her Facebook. Chief Jennifer Villalovos was one of the first female photographers I met at U.S. Navy Fleet Combat Camera Pacific (FLTCOMCAMPAC). I was in the reserve unit training with … Continue reading
Let your light shine through. Do what you love. Love what you do. Whenever you can.
“I am not afraid…I was born to do this.” – Joan of Arc
We all have a point in our lives, where we decide to stop facing our fears and realize what we are truly born to do. No matter how much I try to turn away, something always draws me back to my camera. It awakens me. It helps me to see who I am. No matter how long I have been away from it, some how it always helps me to keep moving forward. Maybe because it mainly helps for me to really take a look at myself and start to overcome my struggles. Mainly because it forces me to deal with the things I don’t want to or maybe the things I don’t want to see.
There is something about letting the creativity take over and helps me to keep moving forward. I am truly fascinated with the body and its transformation that it can take. Right now, I don’t think I seek the fascination with my own body, but my mind emotionally. Trying to learn more about myself. But I figured it was time to pick up the camera and really begin to look at myself again. Here goes.
I may be taking a break from Grad school because I was truly stuck. But my creativity has not left me just yet. I was scared for the year I was in Grad school because I didn’t feel like I was truly born to be an artist. But like Joan of Arc…. I was born to do this…
I worked with Karen Scaffman as an undergrad. Karen Scaffman is an amazing art performer. I had the privilege of working with her and her partners Eric Geiger and Liam Clancy. They are absolutely amazing to watch! AMAZING! I look forward to working with them again. She recently started her performance of BARK again. BARK investigates chance in its violent disguise and begs the question: how ready are we? BARK is a production of PADL West (Karen Schaffman and Eric Geiger, Co-Artistic Directors). The work is made possible with support from PADL West, CSUSM, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company.
If you get the chance, please check this out! Something different, but worth it!
It was nice to be featured on different websites and I appreciate the credit!